Saturday, August 21, 2010

10 Easy Tips for Surviving ASU and Getting Good Grades in College

  1. Buy Your Books Early: For most people, I imagine that by the time that you are reading this, it's probably already too late, but it's never too late to plan for the next semester. I got my books early over the Summer and I am already quite some ways ahead of the class. This will give me some free time to just relax and not have to worry about falling behind. This, of course, can be problematic if you aren't sure if you're class is going to keep/use the text or if you anticipate that you might want to change classes later.
  2. Pace Your Reading: Assuming you're anything like me, despite having, perhaps, buying your books early, you haven't actually completed the reading. Perhaps, also like me, some of your classes told you your books later rather than earlier. Either way, it's good to pace your reading. In particular, try and spend some time after all your classes are done every day to do a bit of studying before you head home. This might be something you might want to also plan for in your schedule.
  3. Take Notes in Class: This is really obvious, but the honest truth is that people simply don't do it, especially if they don't like the class. However, you wouldn't believe how much it helps! The act of taking notes helps to utilize more and varied parts of your brain and to help retain information later.
  4. Type Your Notes and Share Them: It also helps to take your written notes and type them up. This will give you an extra opportunity to review them while, once again, utilizing more of your brain, and it will give you the opportunity to share them with classmates in hope they will reciprocate in case you need it.
  5. Add Classmates / Get Contacts: Being able to get a hold of classmates can really help. It will make it easier to go to class because you know more people there and you will always have someone to rely on if you miss something or need help understanding something.
  6. E-Mail Your Teachers: Whether you need help or whether you're just getting to know them better, emailing your teacher can be really helpful. If you don't talk to your teacher, you're not going to get any sympathy if you have trouble completing an assignment.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Ugh! Being dehydrated at ASU just makes you tired and lazy. If you want to stay productive and on top of things, it's essential to drink water basically every chance you get.
  8. Gather Research Before You Write Your Thesis: Many people start with a thesis and try to find supporting evidence for it; instead, you should take the subject of your paper, turn it into a question, and find information about it. Then, write your thesis. It makes so much more sense and actually ends up being a lot easier.
  9. Know Your Campus: Free food! Nothing is better than free food. But there is also great entertainment and other exciting things going on all the time; and if you ever want to make the best of your college experience, you got to do some exploring.
  10. Relax: Take a break every now and then. You want to find a definite stopping point in your studying, but once you get to those stopping points, you really need to find something you like to do or just relax.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Second Day of School

Here we are again. It's the second day of school, and once again, I arrived on campus late. I was up partying with friends the night before, and I didn't even wake up to my alarm on my phone, or perhaps it could be the case that I didn't set it at all. However, I was awoken to the sounds of my new roommate's brother knocking on the door looking for a lint roller. That's not usually the way that one would like to be woken up, nor the kind of reasons that one might think justifiable for such a disturbance, but I was glad. I rushed into the shower and out the door and managed to make it to class a mere 15 minutes late, which is fine seeing as that was the first time that I had that class.

Next, I have French. There is a significant gap in between this class and the next, or at least there is today because we got out early. I don't know how I'll like Emperical Political Inquiry, but at least my teacher is nice.

So far, my other teachers from today, Professor Happel and Professor Espino (you have to at least show them the respect of putting their title before their name, common!), they are actually pretty cool. I really look forward to having them for this next semester. They seem to really know their stuff--Professor Espino, for instance, even though he seems kind of young, taught at Michigan (or some state with an "M") State and was teaching advanced grad students (those seeking their doctorate)--and they both seem very enthusiastic about their class, which should make it very interesting and fun.

My other teacher Professor Okechukwu Iheduru for my Tuesday and Thursday International Political Economy class, which is a 400 level class, apparently is a dr. I haven't had a chance to meet him yet because of our tardiness yesterday, but I look forward to checking out his class next Tuesday, even though he seems to have received only average ratings on the rate my professor thing.

Well, before I get in trouble, as if it weren't already too late, I'm gonna cut this short and maybe head to the gym.

Oh! One more thing: yesterday, next to the MU which is a huge building consisting of food, recreation, and conference rooms (all in one!), they were playing this really awesome music over the speakers that was made from chiming bells. It was rather reminiscent of  Final Fantasy, particularly Final Fantasy VIII (debate-ably the best of the series) which totally made my day kick ass, as I sat there and day dreamed I was some amazing video game character. Hahaha! Dude.... I'm so lame...


Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of Fall 2010 Classes

Alright, we're back! It's been a long Summer, and I left you guys high and dry, but other than my own crazy stunts, I didn't have much to tell you guys about.

It's August 19th, the first day of Fall classes, and it is really hot. It rained like two days ago and that combined with the sprinklers that ASU needs to keep their plants hydrated, it was also very humid.

On the plus side, I woke up today (after 2 hours of sleep) and got a ride from Russell and a carne asada burrito. So I don't really see how this could be a bad day.

The ticket for the urinating in public has already been set up for me to pay my dues with 5 hours community service and $90. Not the worst thing that could have happened, but for a poor, unemployed college student such as myself, it can be a little bit taxing... especially when I've got school to worry about on top of it.

I figure I'm probably going to have to come clean with my parents... or at least my dad... about the other ticket--failure to stop at a red light (common! I didn't know that I had to make a complete stop before making a right turn; cut me some fuckin' slack!).

But other than that, I've moved in with my friend Thunder, we're living up the college life, and life is smooth sailing at the moment.

The first day of classes went really well, too. Russell and I actually missed our first class, due to some traffic and parking issues, as well as general lateness; so I'm kind of left in the dark as to how that teacher is until Tuesday of next week, but I also got to go to my Congress class that I was very excited about and my Economics class that I was also highly anticipating, which is also my first auditorium class with 300+ students.

On top of that, I've got a list of 2 other POS (political science) classes and French. Good stuff, or at least I hope it will be.